Manuscript 1

Syracuse University Library, Department of Special Collections

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MS 1. Syracuse University Library, Department of Special Collections.

Composite MS?

No, except front and back flyleaves were probably attached later.

Total Folios

ff. i + 267 + i (includes front & back flyleaves, but not leaves attached to inside of front and back covers which also contain text).

Outer Dimensions

48 x 30 cm.

Physical Issues/Binding

Manuscript paper (original/reproduced?) wrapped around the boards.


John M. Crawford (1913-1988).


Everson Museum of Art of Syracuse and Onondaga County. Medieval Art in Upstate New York. Syracuse, NY: Everson Museum of Art of Syracuse and Onondaga County, 1974 [p. 80]. -- Pennington, Kenneth. "The Libellus of Telesphorus and the Decretals of Gregory IX." The Courier 11, no. 1 (fall 1973): 17-26.

Notes (Manuscript Level)

Bookplate on inside cover for Syracuse University Library Rare Book Library (now called the Syracuse University Library, Department of Special Collections) indicates that this MS was a gift of John M. Crawford. Also, handwritten on the leaf attached to the inside of the back cover (SC f. 270r) is the following, "Now owned by : John M. Crawford Jr. Sept. 1959".

Manuscript is also available on Microfilm 5397, Media Services, Syracuse University Library.


Everson Museum of Art of Syracuse and Onondaga County, Medieval Art in Upstate New York. Syracuse, NY: Everson Museum of Art of Syracuse and Onondaga County, 1974 [p. 80]: description of Kenneth Pennington. Pennington, Kenneth. "The Libellus of Telesphorus and the Decretals of Gregory IX." -- The Courier 11, no. 1 (fall 1973): 17-26. -- In house files and catalog information. — Additional notes, observations, and descriptions of Jennifer Casten.


Jennifer Casten

Part Number

Pt. I, decretal letter of Pope Nicholas III; Pt. II, Novellae of Pope Innocent IV and Decretales of Pope Gregory IX cum glossis; Pt. III, treatise on elections.


Parchment (vellum).

Span of Folios for Part

Pt. I, front flyleaf (f.1); Pt. II, 3r-268v; Pt. III, back flyleaf (f. 269).










Handwritten on the inside of the back cover (f. 270r), in addition to the statement that the book was owned by John M. Crawford (see Provenance field), is another statement, "Dated by John Plummer of the Morgan Library 1300-1320 on Dec 23, 1957." Kenneth Pennington, however, offered another possible dating. The Decretal letter of Pope Nicholas III (1277-1280) dated 1278 and added to front flyleaf suggests that the main text was written before the date of that letter. The additions to the margins which record the opinions of later lawyers fall within the period of 1280 to 1400.


Two columns of 40 rows of text flanked by marginal glosses which extend below the main text anywhere from four rows to the bottom of the page. Glosses also appear to the right and left of the main text, and were probably done after the main text was copied. Additions in the margins reflecting changing legal opinions are written in the marginal spaces or between lines of text. Rectos have the book number marked in the top margin. Versos have "L". Catchwords, numbers, or sets of letters appear at the bottom for original binding purposes.


Littera Bononiensis (Bolognese legal hand).

Representational Decoration

Five elaborately illuminated miniatures appear, one before each book of decretals and representing the subject content of that particular book. The images are set against a gold-burnished background and a historiated initial indicates the beginning of a new section. The miniature representing the Pope Innocent IV at the Council of Lyon (A-f.2r; P-f.1r) depicts the Pope seated with bishops on his left and other figures on his left and taking place within an architectural structure. Border decoration includes a bird resembling a duck, the face of a man in the foliage, the top of an arcade architectural structure, feather-like foliage in pink, blue, red-orange, and gold. A historiated initial contains a figure wearing a pink garment, an orange-red cloak, and a black cap. The miniature of the pope hearing a petition (A-f.79r, P-f.78r) depicts a tonsured figure kneeling before the seated pope and a bishop handing a scroll to the pope. Waiting behind this petitioner are tonsured figures as well as figures of laymen. A blue frame encloses the scene. The historiated initial shows the cameo of an individual looking upward toward the petition scene. The third miniature shows the pope celebrating Mass, assisted by a tonsured figure in white (A-f.137r; P-f.135r). Other figures dressed in red, blue, & pink are kneeling. A gray arch-shaped structure appears above the altar and an arcade appears in the background. The historiated initial is inhabited by a praying woman. In the fourth miniature (A-f.193v; P-f.200v), the pope performs a marriage ceremony. Four men appear on the left of the scene (2 laymen, and 2 tonsured) and 3 women on the right. The historiated initial shows a tonsured figure. In the last illumination (A-f.213r; P-f.220r), the pope judges a criminal case. The pope is seated before the crowd (of 7), some who are looking at him while other are talking among themselves. The background portrays the architecture of the city in goldish-yellow although the scene appears to be taking place outdoors. The historiated depicts two bearded faces appearing in opposite directions in the top and bottom of the openings of the letter "S". Because the folio for the beginnning of the Decratals of Gregory IX is missing, an illumination may also be missing.

Other Decoration

Simple red and blue colored initials. Some initials ornamented with flourishes: blue with red flourishes and red with blue flourishes. Other initials are pink in color contained within a blue rectangular-shaped background, and with orange-red and other color feather-like foliage, probably acanthus leaves, extending into the margins both upward and downward. In some instances, animals emerge from these ornamented initials, as on folios 230v and 240r. Initials depicting tonsured figures may appear as a bust (f.230r) or full-length (f.239r). Other interesting figures include a bishop wearing his mitre (f.199r), a man with his tongue sticking out (f.190v), an unusual winged person with a pointed hat (f.148v), and a red bird, probably a duck (f.198v). The marginalia include fingers pointing, scroll work "doodling", dog-like animals, faces with pointed noses and chins, a man holding a spear, and another holding a palm or quill.

Notes (Part Level)

Dating and location of origin information, as well as the miniature subject matter and text identification information, are contributions of Professor Kenneth Pennington, Syracuse University.

The foliation for the MS was changed from that given by Kenneth Pennington in both works cited above and was foliated every ten folios. The changes for the folios are as follows ("SP" is an abbreviation for the Syracuse University Library, Department of Special Collections, "P" for Pennington, and "f" for folio or "ff" for folios.): SP-f.2 = P-f.1; SP-ff.13 & 14 = P-ff.12 & 13; SP-f.79 = P-f.78; SP-f.137 = P-f.135; SP-f.194 = P- f.200; SP-f.213 = P-f.220; SP-f.268 = P-f.263. The Special Collections foliation assigns the front flyleaf as f. 1. The back flyleaf then becomes f. 269, and the recto attached to the inside back cover is marked now as f. 270.

Span of Folios for Text

Decretals of Innocent IV: ff. 3r-13v. Decretals of Gregory IX: ff. 14r-268v.


Pope Innocent IV; Pope Gregory IX; Raymond of Penafort.

Other Associated Name(s)

Bernardus Compostellanus Junior, author of the glosses for Novellae of Pope Innocent IV; Bernardus Parmensis (Bernard Parma, also known as Bernard Botone or Bernard Bottoni), author of the glosses for the Decretals of Gregory IX (ordinary gloss, third recension); Raymond of Penafort, papal-enlisted editor and compiler of the Decretals of Pope Gregory IX


Novellae (Decretales) [of Pope Innocent IV]. Decretales of Gregory IX cum glossis.

Supplied Title

Papal Decretals with glosses

Status of Text

Missing folio for the Decretals of Pope Gregory IX between ff.13 & 14 (Pennington, ff. 12 & 13).


Novellae Decretales of Innocent IV begin: "Innocentius episcopus…Cum nuper in concilio…." The Decretales of Pope Gregory IX begin: "Innovate novale. Novale est ager." [Incipit for the Decretales of Pope Gregory IX is actually missing from this MS, but section in this MS begins with "…tiam repari. Non solum autem virgines et continentes…"]



Notes (Text Level)

The main text is divided into five parts for each of the five books.

Relevant Links

Pope Innocent IV

Raymond of Penaforte


MS 1

MS 2

MS 3

MS 5

MS 6

MS 7

MS 11

MS 12

MS 27

MS 90 


MS 1

MS 2

MS 3

MS 5

MS 6

MS 7

MS 11

MS 12

MS 27

MS 90 


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